John Walk officiates a youth (U13) boys lacrosse game for his first officiating experience at Fritz Elementary School on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Back in the spring of 2000, years before the Lancaster-Lebanon League adopted lacrosse and a year before the Lancaster Area Girls Lacrosse Association officially formed, a set of play days were held on consecutive Saturdays at Conestoga Valley and Lancaster Country Day School to introduce girls lacrosse to those interested.

Those responsible for organizing the play days were aided in part by a small grant from US Lacrosse that went towards purchasing a pair of goals and several sticks and lacrosse balls.

The grant may have played a role in helping get the sport off the ground in Lancaster County. There are now 12 L-L League varsity girls lacrosse teams, in addition to several youth-level LAGLA teams.

In US Lacrosse’s continued efforts to help grow the game for both boys and girls, it is awarding more than 850 grants worth nearly $2.4 million nationwide for the 2019-20 cycle. Four of those grants totaling nearly $6,900 will be going to one elementary school and three youth-level boys and girls lacrosse organizations in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

Equipment (goals, sticks, soft practice balls) worth $690 will be going to Penn Manor’s Pequea Elementary School, where physical education teacher Jenna Fisher is hoping, as part of the curriculum, to introduce the sport to students. She also hopes to share the equipment with other elementary schools in the district so other physical education teachers can do the same.

“We currently do not have any lacrosse equipment at any elementary schools throughout the school district,” Fisher said.

The Penn Manor Girls Youth Lacrosse organization, which has four teams of players in kindergarten through eighth grades, will receive 30 sticks, two dozen soft practice balls and two goals, in addition to complimentary US Lacrosse membership for two coaches and up to 30 new youth players - a combined total value of $2,340.

“This grant will help us to promote the girls lacrosse game by introducing lacrosse at young ages,” Penn Manor Girls Youth Lacrosse director Bethany Landgraff said. “And this grant will allow us to offer a lower registration fee for the younger age group.”

The Cedar Crest Girls Youth Lacrosse organization, which currently has two youth-level teams in grades six through eight, will be receiving equipment (goals, sticks, goggles, goalie equipment) and money, totalling nearly $2,900, to cover training classes for new coaches and to create youth-level teams for players in grades three through five.

“We’re looking at doing something after the Fourth of July,” said Anthony Sinico, the Cedar Crest girls lacrosse coach who is also head of the Cedar Crest Girls Youth Lacrosse organization. “We’d like to do a free-play kind of clinic run by myself, my assistant coaches and some of our high school girls.”

Beyond 2020, Sinico hopes the Cedar Crest Girls Youth Lacrosse organization has a schedule of games in spring 2021 for its new teams in grades three through five.

Finally, the Cocalico Boys Lacrosse Club will be receiving an automated external defibrillator machine worth $1,000.

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